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Business Cycle Properties of Selected U.S. Economic Time Series, 1959-1988

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  • James H. Stock
  • Mark W. Watson

Abstract

This paper catalogs the business cycle properties of 163 monthly U.S. economic time series over the three decades from 1959 through 1988. Two general sets of summary statistics are reported. The first set measures the comovement of each individual time series with a reference series representing real economic activity. These statistics focus on comovements at business cycle horizons. The second set of statistics examines the predictive content of each of the series for aggregate activity, relative to different sets of conditioning (or predictive) variables. These statistics are constructed and presented in a way that facilitates comparisons across series and across conditioning sets. They also provide new lists of leading indicators based on predictive content for overall economic activity. Some of the results confirm previously recognized empirical regularities, while others provide new or different insights into the business cycle properties of various series.

Suggested Citation

  • James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1990. "Business Cycle Properties of Selected U.S. Economic Time Series, 1959-1988," NBER Working Papers 3376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3376
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    1. Christopher A. Sims, 1986. "Are forecasting models usable for policy analysis?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-16.
    2. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Comparison of Interwar and Postwar Business Cycles: Monetarism Reconsidered," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 250-257, May.
    3. Miron, Jeffrey A. & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1989. "Production, sales, and the change in inventories : An identity that doesn't add up," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 31-51, July.
    4. Fischer, Stanley & Merton, Robert C., 1984. "Macroeconomics and finance: The role of the stock market," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 57-108, January.
    5. Matthew Shapiro & Mark Watson, 1988. "Sources of Business Cycles Fluctuations," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 111-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Campbell, John Y., 1987. "Stock returns and the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 373-399, June.
    7. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
    8. Singleton, Kenneth J, 1980. "A Latent Time Series Model of the Cyclical Behavior of Interest Rates," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(3), pages 559-575, October.
    9. Olivier J. Blanchard & Mark W. Watson, 1986. "Are Business Cycles All Alike?," NBER Chapters,in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 123-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-276, June.
    11. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1991. "Stochastic Trends and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 819-840, September.
    12. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1987. "Interpreting Evidence on Money-Income Causality," NBER Working Papers 2228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Keim, Donald B. & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1986. "Predicting returns in the stock and bond markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 357-390, December.
    14. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
    15. Estrella, Arturo & Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1991. " The Term Structure as a Predictor of Real Economic Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 555-576, June.
    16. Thomas J. Sargent & Christopher A. Sims, 1977. "Business cycle modeling without pretending to have too much a priori economic theory," Working Papers 55, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    17. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1989. "Interpreting the evidence on money-income causality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 161-181, January.
    18. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1988. "A Probability Model of The Coincident Economic Indicators," NBER Working Papers 2772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1989. "New Indexes of Coincident and Leading Economic Indicators," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 351-409 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bhanot, Karan, 2005. "What causes mean reversion in corporate bond index spreads? The impact of survival," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1385-1403, June.
    2. Campbell, John Y & Ammer, John, 1993. " What Moves the Stock and Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition for Long-Term Asset Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-37, March.
    3. Lyubomir Ivanov, 2005. "Is "The ideal filter" really Ideal: The usage of Frequency Filtering and Spurious Cycles," South-Eastern Europe Journal of Economics, Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region, vol. 3(1), pages 79-96.
    4. Necati Tekatli, 2010. "A Bayesian Generalized Factor Model with Comparative Analysis (Genellestirilmis Faktor Modellerinin Bayesyen Yaklasimi ve Karsilastirmali Analizi)," Working Papers 1018, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
    5. Martin Feldstein & James H. Stock, 1994. "The Use of a Monetary Aggregate to Target Nominal GDP," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy, pages 7-69 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. John Hassler & Petter Lundvik & Torsten Persson & Paul Soderlind, 1992. "The Swedish business cycle: stylized facts over 130 years," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 63, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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